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Durham e-Theses
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Family Memory and Photography in Twenty-First-Century German Writing

JELFS, ROSALIND,ANNA,DE,MOUILPIE (2014) Family Memory and Photography in Twenty-First-Century German Writing. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis explores memory, photography, and generational change in four examples of post-war German literature, all published since the turn of the millennium.
Much of the study of World War II, the Holocaust, and National Socialism revolves around memory, particularly when we look at the impact these events and ideas had on the people involved. War records can provide us with the date of an election, or a number of lives lost, but in order to even begin to understand the impact of National Socialism on both its victims and perpetrators we must rely on testimony and memory. In the years since German reunification many examples of Enkelliteratur have been published by the grandchildren of members of the National Socialist perpetrator collective. These works describe and explore the reality and psychological impact of belonging to a family with a difficult past.
The importance of images and photography to memory has long been recognized, and so it is from the photographic perspective that I set out to explore the four texts this thesis is focused on, drawing on psychoanalytic and memory theories. I argue that it is not only the photographic content itself that is important, but also that its layout and presentation are vital to the reader’s interpretations of the photographs and text as a whole. In particular, I explore what is left out of the texts, and the narratives that the photographs create on their own and in their interaction with the text.
In this thesis I draw on memory theory by Freud, Halbwachs, and Assmann, and photographic theory by Hirsch, among others, to show the diversity in this literary genre, and that it is still an active area in which new examples are constantly emerging.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:25 Nov 2014 11:12

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